Jane Orient, the anti-vaccine, climate change denier, right-wing quack MD

Well, one of the most obnoxious anti-vaccine, right-wing, science denying MDs, Jane Orient, is back in the limelight. And she’s pushing the same old pseudoscience about climate change as she has about vaccines, HIV, and other sciences.

Let’s take a look at what she wrote. And why she’s an ignoramus about science, whether it’s vaccines or climate change.

Definitely not a quack.

What did Jane Orient say now?

Recently, I saw an email about climate change from another anti-science group, Physicians for Civil Defense:

May 17, 2019
Green New Deal Is Neither Joke nor Hoax

If you believed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “joke” about the end of the world in 12 years, you have “the intelligence of a sea sponge,” she says now. And President Donald Trump called the Green New Deal a “hoax.”

The “joke,” however, is being taught as truth in schools, and children are marching in the streets to demand “climate action” to save their future. The Green New Deal has been endorsed by Democrat Presidential hopefuls and dozens of lawmakers.

[Bunch of stuff redacted, because I loathe conspiracy theories and junk science]

Jane M. Orient, M.D., Tucson, AZ
President, Physicians for Civil Defense

A more detailed conspiracy theory rant about the Green New Deal can be found on the Physicians for Civil Defense website. It’s still anti-science nonsense.

Whether Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was making a joke or not is irrelevant. The point that she was trying to make was that we had around 12 years to reverse our climate change activities, or the earth will have runaway climate change that could lead to the mass extinction – including humans. 

And using Donald Trump as the “false authority” on climate is pretty much hysterically ludicrous.

The “12-year” warning wasn’t invented by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to create an irrational fear about climate change. It’s based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a group filled with research scientists from across the world, 2018 report on climate change (pdf).  Of course, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez didn’t pull that “12-years” out of thin air, despite the laughably inept Orient and Trump calling it a hoax.

Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, using her biting wit which appears to scare Republicans, stated what she meant on Twitter:

So to the sea sponges out there, let’s make it clear – climate change is settled science. A broad consensus of scientists, who are experts in the field of climate change, has also stated that humans are causing climate change, and we’re headed to disaster.

Ocasio-Cortez may have misspoken as to what will happen in 12 years, but the impending doom of our planet could start then. And we should be scared.

But none of this is the point of this article. It’s about Jane Orient and her anti-science statements.

Jane Orient
Quack! Photo by Håkon Helberg on Unsplash

Who the hell is Jane Orient?

Glad you asked, off-stage narrator. 

Jane Orient is an MD, and that’s about all I can say nice about her. She is the Executive Director of the physician organization, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).

She is also the managing editor of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (JAPANDS), published by AAPS. The journal does not have an impact factor and does not appear to be indexed in PubMed.

Of course, PubMed is run by the Department of Health and Human Services, which, as you will see, would be antithetical to their anti-government beliefs.

AAPS is generally recognized as politically conservative or ultra-conservative. According to David Gorski, “it is not an exaggeration to say that the AAPS, through its journal JPANDS, is waging a war on science- and evidence-based medicine in the name of its politics.” It takes pseudoscience and anti-science beliefs and mixes it with the far right beliefs of its members.

But it’s worse than that. The AAPS stands firmly against any sort of effort at healthcare reform, including medical care for anyone in need. In fact, the AAPS was founded in 1943-4 in response to the Wagner-Murray-Dingell Bill, which was one of the earliest bills in Congress to reform the country’s healthcare system. It lost, of course, and the US healthcare system is still a mess.

The AAPS opposed the establishment of Medicare and Medicaid, stating that “the effect of the law is evil and participation in carrying out its provisions is, in our opinion, immoral.” It actually encouraged, at the time, AAPS members to boycott Medicare and Medicaid.

In opposition to just about any ethical standard of physicians, the AAPS argues that individuals should purchase medical care directly from doctors – there is no right to medical care. Believe it or not, AAPS requires its members to sign a “declaration of independence” pledging that they will not work with Medicare, Medicaid, or even private insurance companies.

In other words, if you can’t afford healthcare, you don’t deserve to receive it. That is against everything that most physicians believe.

As Mother Jones stated, “Yet despite the lab coats and the official-sounding name, the docs of the AAPS are hardly part of the mainstream medical society. Think Glenn Beck with an MD.”

But it’s not just public healthcare that’s on their radar of hatred. They are also opposed to abortion, pharmacists who must fill prescriptions for all patients, organ donations, and just about anything a moderately science-based physician would accept.

In fact, former HHS Secretary Tom Price was a member of this organization. 

Importantly, AAPS is anti-vaccine at many levels. They are opposed to “mandatory vaccinations” as a requirement for attending public schools (and I’m not even certain they think public schools are a good thing). They buy into the myth that shaken baby syndrome is related to vaccines!

They also buy into just about every anti-vaccine myth and oppose the use of Gardasil.

This is an awful group. I’m pretty sure I would never ever respect the opinion of any AAPS member. It’s simply too much for my rational mind.

Jane Orient
Quack quack!! Photo by Håkon Helberg on Unsplash

But there’s more about Jane Orient

Orient wrote a letter, during the 2016 presidential campaign, that claimed that Hillary Clinton was medically unfit to be president. After watching a video of Secretary Clinton nearly falling at a campaign stop, Orient claimed that Clinton had some mysterious neurological condition. Orient has zero expertise in neurology. And it’s unethical for a physician to diagnose someone without ever having access to medical records, medical tests, and everything else a personal physician would have.

She is a member of the radical anti-vaccine group, Physicians for Informed Consent, which, as their name implies, is pushing a moronic false flag about vaccines. They claim that healthcare workers are not providing patients (and parents) with adequate information for them to actually give informed consent to vaccinations.

Professor Dorit Rubinstein Reiss has argued that the anti-vaccine world seems to have an improper view of what constitutes informed consent with respect to vaccinations. Of course, they do. And Dr. Orient buys into this absurd claim about vaccines.

Orient is also the President of the aforementioned Physicians for Civil Defense. This group appears to be filled with paranoia about terrorist attacks – and they have numerous links about prepping for said attacks, especially nuclear ones. Of course, as if there would be any doubt, the crackpots in this organization (which may just be Orient) are pushing the tired old tropes about vaccines

I’d debunk each of those tropes if Orient’s website actually had any traffic. It’s so bad that Alexa doesn’t even have a ranking for it.

So, if you see Dr. Jane Orient making claims about anything with respect to vaccines or climate change, you can ignore it. She’s using her right-wing politics to influence her “science.” Well, it’s not really science, it’s just rubbish pretending to be science – pure, unadulterated pseudoscience.



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The Original Skeptical Raptor
Chief Executive Officer at SkepticalRaptor
Lifetime lover of science, especially biomedical research. Spent years in academics, business development, research, and traveling the world shilling for Big Pharma. I love sports, mostly college basketball and football, hockey, and baseball. I enjoy great food and intelligent conversation. And a delicious morning coffee!